Lecture about Piscataqua Textiles in the 1700’s


At Old Berwick Historical Society

Lecture about Piscataqua Textiles in the 1700’s


South Berwick, Maine- Old Berwick Historical Society will present an online lecture by textile historian Sandra Rux titled “Bed, Furniture and Window Curtain Textiles in Piscataqua Inventories, 1700-1800” on Thursday, April 28 at 7:30pm in the Whipple Theater at Berwick Academy.  


Inventories of wealthy citizens reveal many high-end fabrics used for bed coverings and curtains plus, as the 18th century progressed, an increasing number of window curtains. The inventory of Elizabeth Rindge Wentworth (d. 1794) is notable for its inclusion of a silk quilt paired with worsted damask bed and window curtains with window squabs. Middling and aspiring families such as Tobias Lear and Bartholomew Stavers owned bed and window curtains of furniture check. Rux will discuss the benefits and pitfalls of using inventories to help reconstruct the stories of the lives lived by early Piscataqua people.


Sandra Rux received a BA in History from the University of Connecticut and an MA in History from Trinity College, Hartford CT and is a graduate of the Museum Studies program of the Munson Institute, Mystic Seaport Museum. She came to Portsmouth in 2005 as the Synergy manager for the Portsmouth Historical Society, Warner House and Wentworth-Gardner and Lear Houses and then served as manager and curator for the Portsmouth Historical Society until December 2014. She served as Curator of the Warner House Association (2014-2019) and chairperson of the Portsmouth Athenaeum Exhibits Committee (2014-2021). A hand loom weaver herself, she has written about nineteenth-century carpet weaving for the Dublin Seminar and in Corsets, Clocks and Locks, a book about the industrial development of New Haven, CT.


Admission is free to members, donations gratefully accepted from non-members. The lecture is open to the public, no registration is required. The lecture will be recorded and posted to the society’s website. The Old Berwick Historical Society’s 2022 lectures are generously sponsored by Kennebunk Savings and supported by historical society members and donors.


The Counting House Museum is currently open by appointment only. The upcoming textile exhibit, “Material Culture: Domestic Cloth-Making in 18th-Century New England” opens on June 4th. More information is available by calling 207-384-0000 or visiting www.oldberwick.org.